Portland Tenants United Leads a New Call for Organizing Against Evictions and Displacement

by Shane Burley

When renters band together, they can stop gentrification in its tracks, say tenants union advocates in Portland, Oregon. “Just as workers can have a union in their workplaces, tenants should have the same power of collective action, and bargaining, in their homes.”

Incarcerated Lives Matter

by Lacino Hamilton

The struggle against mass incarceration has gained broad support in recent years. However, “as long as reducing the incarceration rate is confined to fiscal pressures, little attention, if any at all, will be paid to the root cause of mass incarceration (racism), or how caging people for part or all of their lives has removed from the community and the family the abilities to sustain themselves free of state and corporate domination.”

The Shame of South Africa’s Black Political Prisoners

by Motsoko Pheko

More than twenty years after the end of formal apartheid, several African nationalists who resisted the inhuman system are still languishing in prison. Yet many apartheid agents who committed atrocious crimes against the African people were pardoned, some without even expressing any remorse. This is unacceptable. The ANC Government must release all political prisoners now.

Black Agenda Radio for Week of February 8, 2016

McKesson Parachutes into Baltimore Democratic Mayoral Primary

DeRay McKesson, the Twitter communicator who heads Campaign Zero, is a “ridiculous” candidate for mayor of Baltimore, said Jill Carter, the most radical member of the Maryland state legislature. “He hasn’t been part of any movement or struggle here, or any social circles other than, possibly, social media.” McKesson, a Teach for America alumnus and staunch advocate of charter schools, “may also cause a greater wedge in the justice movement” in Baltimore, said Carter, who notes that corporate media have given the McKesson campaign more play than the rest of the crowded field of candidates.

Movement Must Fulfill Its Obligations to Political Prisoners

People’s lawyer and former political prisoner Lynne Stewart and Ralph Poynter, the veteran human rights activist and educator, said the current movement must reaffirm its support for political prisoners and prisoners of war. “Let us not divert our energies into the courts, because if we do that, we lose the streets, and the streets is where it’s got to happen,” said Stewart, who spent 28 months in federal prison for the crime of zealously defending her client. Her husband Poynter said lawyers must defend “those brothers and sisters who defied the government in the same way that the government defied their rights – by using force.”

McKinney: “Selective Outrage” Over Flint

The Democratic Party is displaying “selective outrage” in its attempts to gain political points from the poisoning of Flint, Michigan’s water system, said Dr. Cynthia McKinney, the former six term congresswoman from Georgia and Green Party presidential candidate. “Where has the Congressional Black Caucus been on Detroit, where you’ve got all that water, but they were turning people’s water off?” she said. McKinney noted that the Black Caucus has failed to support Rev. Edward Pinkney, the Benton Harbor, Michigan, community activist who is imprisoned on political charges for opposing corporate domination of his majority Black town.

Good Riddance “Sweet Mickey”

The Haitian people are glad at the exit of Michel “Sweet Mickey” Martelly, the U.S.-backed president chosen five years ago in a blatantly rigged election, whose term of office ran out last Sunday, said Jerome Franz, a Haitian community activist living in Miami. Public outrage over voting fraud forced the cancellation of run-off presidential elections and the appointment of a transitional government. Were it not for massive voter suppression, former president Jean Bertrand-Aristide’s party, Fanmi Lavalas, “would sweep every single post,” said Franz, because “Lavalas is the party of the popular movement.” Martelly’s party’s strength flows from the huge sums of money put at its disposal by the U.S. and other foreigners.



Vector of Fear: Blacks and the Democratic Party

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Blacks in the South will probably not vote for Bernie Sanders, although they most resemble the “Scandinavian social democrats” of Sanders dreams. However, Black voters don’t express their politics through the ballot. Rather, “Blacks are drawn into the jaws of the Democratic Party, not by ideological affinity, but in search of protection from the Republicans.” It is the politics of fear.

Freedom Rider: The Problem of Bernie Sanders and the “Left”

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Bernie Sander’s near-tie with Hillary Clinton in Iowa is fanning the fantasies of those who never cease to disbelieve in transforming the Democratic Party “from below.” What is certain, is that corporate evil-doers will still rule both wings of the duopoly at the end of the quadrennial game. “Revolutionaries don’t exult over Bernie Sanders vis a vis Hillary Clinton because they know that great change comes from mass action and not the ballot box.”

Clinton, Petraeus, Snowden and Manning: The Tail of the Two Americas

by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

The U.S. government does not hesitate to imprison those who leak its secrets – unless they are Hillary Clinton or some other Big Shot. “What is remarkable about American democracy is the consistent and perpetual benevolence of the ruling class towards its loyal disciples.” The privilege extends to killer cops, crooked investment bankers, and other slime. But “federal employees complaining of racism are eviscerated while their managers receive promotions.”

Going “International” on Racist Uncle Sam

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Charging the United States with serious violations of Black people’s human rights, a UN panel of experts endorsed Black community control of the police and reparations for descendants of slaves. Washington is under no obligation to comply, but “even a corporate-ruled, imperialist superpower, born in slavery and genocide, can be embarrassed when its crimes are revealed on the world stage.”


Observations on Carrying Forward the Black Radical Tradition After Philly

by Sis. Asantewaa Nkrumah-Ture

Organizers of the very successful Jan 7-10 Philadelphia conference on Reclaiming the Black Radical Tradition have pointed to “a pattern of disruption” by pursued there political elements who sought to undermine the conference's legitimacy and unity. Why? Who were these people and what are their politics? A friend who lives in Philly and attended the conference offers this useful picture, along with cogent observations and suggestions.

From Civil Rights to Human Rights, Black Community Control Now!

by Netfa Freeman

A United Nations Working Group preliminary report on human rights violations against Black America advocates Black community control of police. That’s the general position of Pan African Community Action, one of the groups that testified before the UN experts. Community control of police would shift power, enforce democracy and allow folks to re-imagine community security as “a social force to actually protect and serve” Black people.

Flint, Atlantic City, and the Destruction of Democracy

Flint, Atlantic City, and the Destruction of Democracy

by our friends at the Real News Network

Flint Michigan isn't the only place where local rights over infrastructure have been stolen and put in the hands of un-elected "emergency managers" whose first priorities are always repayment of wealthy bondholders. The first wave of such takeovers, Glen Ford points out, was in New Jersey a generation ago, and now Atlantic City may be next.

On the Utility of Self-Criticism and Criticism in the Future of Struggle: The Case of Ta-Nehisi Coates

by Danny Haiphong

The author recommends that a healthy dose of criticism and self-criticism might clarify Ta-Nehisi Coates’ argument with Bernie Sanders over reparations. “It would be appropriate to ask Coates why he chose to single out Sanders as a socialist even though Sanders has positioned himself as a Democratic Party politician since his entrance into the race.” As presently constructed, Ta-Nehisi’s position leads straight into the Empire's electoral graveyard.”

African Union Refuses to Invade Burundi

Ann Garrison's picture


by Ann Garrison

The African Union has reversed its decision to send 5,000 “peacekeepers” to Burundi, at the instigation of the U.S. and Europeans. The real threat to Burundi comes from neighboring Rwanda, which is training an army of refugees to invade Burundi. Why did the AU have a change of heart? “Member nations no doubt realized that if they authorized the deployment without Burundi's consent, unwelcome AU troops might be sent across their borders as well.”

No More Electoral Coups: OAS is Not Welcome in Haiti

by Èzili Dantò

Since 2004, the Haitian people have been occupied: first by U.S. troops and, next, by an international force under the United Nations. Then, following the 2010 earthquake, the Organization of American States and the U.S. rigged an election to impose the dictatorship of Michel “Sweet Mickey” Martelly. “The people of Haiti have an exit plan: to conduct free and fair elections after Martelly leaves” on February 7.

The Global Network of US Military Bases Provide the Infrastructure For Permanent War

by our friends at This Is Hell

For two generations now, the US has hundreds of thousands of troops stationed outside its borders. US troops are in more countries than the Mongols, the Romans or the Brit empires in their day, and the US maintains more military bases than embassies or consulates. Is it any wonder that the first resort is usually to war?

Black Agenda Radio for Week of February 1, 2016

A Reprieve for “Child Lifers” in Prison

Thousands of inmates serving life sentences for crimes committed when they were juveniles may be eligible for release from prison in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that such sentences amount to cruel and unusual punishment. “I get a chance to return to society and show people that I’m not the animal that they were portraying me to be,” said Kerry Shakaboona Marshall, a contributor to Prison Radio, who was 17 when he was charged with murder, 25 years ago. However, Marshall said the State of Pennsylvania “really doesn’t want to carry out the spirit of the Miller decision. They want child lifers to die in prison.”

UN Tallies U.S. Crimes Against African Americans

A United Nations panel of experts has released its report on human rights violations against Blacks in the U.S., after soliciting testimony in five cities, last month. The report on the various “forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, Afrophobia and related intolerance” in U.S. society, will be a “ready reference” for both activists and UN member states, said Efia Nwangaza, director of the Malcolm X Center for Self Determination, in Greenville, South Carolina. “I think that China, which does its own annual human rights report, will find it very useful,” as will African countries that are abused by U.S.-based corporations.

Tribunal: Michigan Officials Guilty of Crimes Against Humanity

The denial of water to poor people in Detroit and the poisoning of Flint, Michigan’s water system were not just Republican crimes, said Monica Lewis-Patrick, co-founder of We the People of Detroit. “You had local leadership, you had Black clergy, you had city council people, you had mayors all across this great state that participated in this structural violence, and who are prepared to commit genocide on the people in this state,” said Lewis-Patrick, at a People’s Tribunal on Water Crimes. A people’s jury convicted Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, and two appointed emergency financial managers.

Adolph Reed’s Case Against Reparations

The demand for reparations for Black Americans “doesn’t add anything to a call for redistribution” of wealth and resources, said Dr. Adolph Reed, the noted Black public intellectual and professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania. Reed, who supports Bernie Sanders for president, said it’s folly to demand “a designer program that will redistribute only to one’s own group.” Education, jobs and criminal justice, he said, are “Black issues.”

Western “Panic” Drives Syria Talks

The talks getting underway in Geneva, Switzerland, on the war in Syria are “a combination of public relations and panic on the part of the western powers,” said BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka, a co-founder of the U.S. Human Rights Network. “This is a replay of Geneva I and Geneva II,” said Baraka. “The only thing that has really changed is that the western powers and the Gulf Cooperation Council are more concerned about the possibility that the whole strategy of regime change is coming apart.”

Haiti Factions Jockey for Spots in Interim Government

Massive protests against rigged elections forced cancellation of a presidential run-off vote in Haiti, last month, paving the way for appointment of an interim government. The U.S.-installed president, Michel “Sweet Mickey” Martelly, is constitutionally required to leave office on February 7. “There is a lot of posturing, a lot of theater going on,” said Pierre Labossiere, of the Haiti Action Committee. “What upset the cart has been the entry of the grassroots” into the equation, including the Fanmi Lavalas party of former president Jean Bertrand-Aristide, who was overthrown in a 2004 U.S.-backed coup. The massive popular opposition to the Martelly regime shows that “the Haitian people have to have their say” in the next government, said Labossiere.



What Would A Real Discussion on Reparations Look Like? Have We Ever Had One?

By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

What would a serious discussion on reparations look like? Will anybody ever come up with a realistic roadmap to get there, or is reparations talk just that –- all talk? Is reparations an answer to class politics, or is it the politics of a particular class? And what if we fought for millions of new green jobs, rolling back the prison state, guaranteed annual income, decent housing and free education but didn't call it “reparations”?

Ethnic Cleansing: The Ultimate Environmental Racism

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

What happened in Flint was not a simple case of environmental racism, but ethnic cleansing by lethal means. The ethnic cleansing of the cities – otherwise known as gentrification – is an existential threat to Black people in the United States. Flint signals that the Black Removers are capable of anything in their quest to create cities that are “non-Black by design.”

Freedom Rider: Flint, Michigan and Democracy

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Disaster capitalists demand – and get – government subsidies to carry out their crimes. However, the poor victims of corporate mayhem can’t count on their elected officials to demand even modest compensation. Flint, Michigan’s mayor “could have demanded full restitution for property owners and free health care for residents poisoned by the water supply.” Instead, she “acted like the supplicants that all black politicians end up becoming.”

The EPA Blame Game and the Flint Lead Atrocity: Criminal Prosecutions Must Follow

by EPA editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo and Kevin Berends

The law is clear: once officials at the federal Environmental Protection Agency were made aware of hazardous material in Flint, Michigan’s water, they were required by statute to take action to remove it. The chief of the EPA, as well as the regional administrator, failed to comply with the law. “Why hasn’t the president...recommended them both to the Attorney General for criminal prosecution?”


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